News & Media

News & Media

The Sanctuary`s Dawn and Dusk Chorus:

On 22nd and 23rd April 2023 the Sanctuary held its Annual Dawn Chorus Event for the 4th year running. This year we changed things up and added a Dusk Chorus the evening before the Dawn Chorus. The event took place at the beautiful Ards Friary Retreat & Conference Centre in Donegal.

The two day Retreat was led by our Managing Director, Jane Negrych. There were both sitting and walking meditation practices, over the two days, within the grounds of Ards wonderful woodland and coastal setting. Seán Ó’Gaoithín, Head Gardener at Glenveagh National Park, joined Jane in conversation after the Dusk Chorus on Declaring Peace with Nature. Dr Tony Bates closed the evening with some poetry.

The Dawn Event was opened with a poem from Sr Stan. Br Ade Green, OFM Cap from Ards, joined Jane in conversation after the Dawn Chorus and spoke about Biodiversity, Spiritual Ecology and Earth Communities.
It was a such a beautiful event which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. The bird song at dusk and at dawn couldn’t help but lift your spirits and brought a great sense of vitality and hope to all.

A great bow in gratitude to all at Ards Friary Retreat & Conference Centre, Sean O’Gaoithin, Br Ade Green, Dr Tony Bates, Sr Stan and all of our lovely community members both onsite and online who joined in support of the work of the Sanctuary.
Thank you to the staff who made the event such a wonderful experience.


Major Global Health Project in Africa:

The Sanctuary, in collaboration with University of Aberdeen, Addis Ababa University and University of Rwanda, is involved in a Major Global Health Project in Africa.  The purpose of the four year Project is to create a mindfulness intervention to children is sub-Saharan Africa and it is hoped that the intervention will result in real change for young pupils in school.

Mental health issues are the leading cause of illness among young people aged 7-19 years, with about one in seven experiencing mental health problems. The World Health Organisation states that by 2030 mental health issues will form the biggest burden on health care resources and recommends preventative interventions in schools.

Bringing together health experts, social scientists, teacher educators and government officials, regional engagement will be built into each stage of the research with members of both local communities including parents, teachers, and young people themselves playing an integral role in developing the tailored programme.

Professor Graeme Nixon from the School of Education at University of Aberdeen, along with Jane Negrych, Managing Director of The Sanctuary, are heading up the training of Rwandan and Ethiopian teacher educators in mindfulness and mindfulness approaches with children, as well as working with academics and communities in both countries to devise a culturally appropriate mindfulness-based intervention for primary schools.


The 31 day Meditation Challenge:

We have been running the 31 Day Meditation Challenge in the month of October to highlight mental health awareness day.  All meditations are inspired by a deep, heart-felt wish and mission to nourish personal growth for greater social impact.  All proceeds that the Sanctuary collects goes to our An Cuan programme, which is designed to break down barriers and make the activities of the Sanctuary accessible to all.  When you join the challenge you will receive a 10 min meditation every day to complete whenever suits you.

Jane Negrych – Interview With 97.7 Dundalk FM

Jane Negrych – Interview With 103.2 Dublin City FM

We celebrated the wonderful work of our volunteers last night- facilitators, gardeners, befrienders, office help!

It was totally inspirational and all of us in the Sanctuary are filled with heartfelt gratitude. A deep bow to all who help keep the Sanctuary the beautiful, supportive community that it is. We couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of you who has contributed either through volunteering, donations or simply attending and holding us up.

Deep gratitude to you all ❤️🙏❤️

“We all need to give as well as to receive, and we all know that in small ways, we don’t want to be receiving all the time – we want to give.

That is also true at community and societal level” Richard Titmuss from the Gift Relationship

If you would like to become part of the volunteer team, email

Honorary Doctorate Reward For Sr. Stan

On August 24th 2022, Sr. Stan Kennedy was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Limerick for her visionary work as one of Ireland’s leading social innovators.

We are all so proud of her and delighted that we could support her on her special day.

All of her charities were present to cheer her on: Focus Ireland, Immigrant Council of IrelandYoung Social Innovators and the Sanctuary.

These charities highlight the breadth of her reach as she works tirelessly to reduce homelessness,  support the Immigrant Community, foster innovation in the youth and provide mental health resources so that we may all live full meaningful lives as engaged citizens contributing to the cultures we find ourselves in.

Simply inspiring!

Stoneybatter Festival 2022

The Sanctuary is located in Dublin 7 and one of the highlights of our year is the Stoneybatter Festival. It provides the staff with the opportunity to put all work aside, as we share the beautiful grounds and some of the workshops that we run with all who live in the Stoneybatter community and beyond!

This year, we held free yoga and meditation in the field, soundbaths, singing bowl workshops and tours of the Sanctuary. The joy on people’s faces was undeniable and the gratitude in our heart was overflowing. What better way to spend a day than to connect people into nature through the practices of yoga, meditation, creativity and deep relaxation?

The day saw hundreds of people stepping through our door, where they went on to be nourished by the wild daisy meadows that fill our biodiversity field. Another ‘must mention’ is the deep rest that they received from the gentle vibrations of Simone Meschnig and her soundbaths.

We feel so privileged to be a part of the growing, diverse community that is Stoneybatter.

The Dawn Chorus 2022

On International Dawn Chorus Day (May 1st, 2022), the Sanctuary held its 3rd Annual Dawn Chorus event, in which we raised much needed funds for our An Cuan programme. An Cuan helps us move towards Equitable Wellbeing, or making sure that all of our services and courses are available to all, no matter one’s social, geographical or economic position.

At the event, we enjoyed a meditation guided by our Managing Director, Jane Negrych; the Dublin Gospel Choir sang a response to the birds; Fiann O’ Nuallain (Horticultural Therapist, Author and TV Personality) spoke to us about the psychological and neurological benefits of nature and birdsong; and our Property Manager, John Robinson, gave a talk and introduction to our beautiful biodiversity field that holds our labyrinth walks.

To top it all off, our beloved Sr Stan led the group in a Mindful Walking practice through those labyrinths!

It was both inspiring and uplifting to turn our gaze on the natural world and experience nature’s ultimate soundbath, the Dawn Chorus.

A massive bow in gratitude to the Dublin Gospel Choir, Fiann O’Nuallain, Lidl Grangegorman, who provided all the refreshments and all of the community members both online and onsite who joined in to support the work of the Sanctuary.

Thank you also to the staff who made the event such a magical experience.

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